The Congress on Monday joined the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in refraining from contesting against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the Radhakrishnan Nagar by-election on June 27.
Explaining the party's decision, Tamil Nadu Congress chief EVKS Elangovan alleged that the election would not be held in a free and fair manner.
The Congress did not take part in the 2011 election from the same seat which was won by All=India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) member Vetrivel with nearly 84,000 votes. The runner-up, DMK candidate P.K.Sekarbabu, lost by 30,000 votes.
Opposition parties like the DMK, PMK and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) have all decided to not contest from the June 27 seat.
The two Left parties - CPI and CPI-M - have decided to propose CPI leader C. Mahendran as their joint candidate to contest against Jayalalithaa.
The votes will be counted on June 30.
The Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency fell vacant after Vetrival resigned as part of the AIADMK's strategy to re-elect Jayalalithaa to the legislative assembly.
Jayalalithaa, who was elected from Srirangam constituency in May 2011, lost her seat and the chief minister's post after a trial court in Bengaluru convicted her over a decade-long disproportionate assets case that had dogged her political career.
The Karnataka High Court upheld her appeal and acquitted her of all charges. Jayalalalithaa was again sworn in as chief minister, but she needs to be elected to the legislative assembly within six months.
In 2011, the BJP's K.R. Vinayagam received 1,298 votes in Radhakrishnan Nagar. The BJP and the DMDK have not said whether or not they will contest this time.
The DMDK and Left parties contested in alliance with Jayalalithaa's party in the 2011 assembly elections.